Throughout COVID we lived with different family members and if you’d told all involved about it in advance, I think we would have all been quite stressed and nervous! But in the end it provided a wonderful, unexpected answer to prayers about my health.
In summer 2021 we decided to move back to Glasgow permanently and thought we’d move in with my sister-in-law for a couple of months till we found our own place. A couple of months turned out to be a year! Again, if any of us had known this in advance it probably would’ve been a source of frustration or discontent, but it transpired to be a wonderful thing for all parties involved, not least because my sister-in-law unexpectedly went through a really tough period that year and valued us staying with her more than she would’ve expected.
In summer 2022 I got a new job which allowed us financially to move into our own place. The timing was good for my sister-in-law too. Sam (my husband) and I had some shared priorities and some of our own unique ones too! We wanted to be close to Re:Hope as it would facilitate our fellowship and participation there. We also wanted to be close to Chinese people (because of Sam’s ministry). We wanted a two-bed so Sam could teach piano in one of the rooms and somewhere big enough to host groups of people, but both of those were straining us on the upper limit of our budget. I didn’t want to live in a tenement as I’m always cold (!), but doing so would’ve brought more rental properties into our price range. Sam wanted a dishwasher and big fridge/freezer to facilitate hosting. In addition to these, we also had some things we each wanted, but knew were luxury extras! Completely irrationally (because of Glasgow’s weather!) I really wanted a balcony and Sam wanted two bathrooms!
We offered these to God as fancy extras that we wanted, but would give to him if it wasn’t his plan. With all those boxes to tick, we didn’t think we stood much chance of getting everything we wanted, and certainly not our “luxury extras”.
Reducing our chances further, we knew that rental properties were being snapped up like nobody’s business so we probably wouldn’t get to be that choosy and it might take us a while to get somewhere. But we covered the matter in prayer. Lo and behold within our first couple of weeks of looking I saw a flat that ticked every single box — and I was exceedingly surprised to find it was in our price range. Given the desirability of it, I was sure there’d be dozens of people clamouring for it and we’d never get it, and disappointingly I realised we weren’t going to be able to make the viewing. In the end we managed to get a friend to make the last slot for viewing, 4pm on a Friday, and I thought there was no chance of getting it. I was thinking about it all day and kept having to give it to God reminding myself that if it was for us He’d give it to us, and if it wasn’t, it’s because He had something else for us. Our friend phoned us about 4:30pm and told us it looked good so we rushed to get our application in before the 5pm deadline. To our enormous surprise we heard the following week that we got the flat! It’s been an absolute blessing to live in this year and we’ve been very grateful to live somewhere so nice and suited to us. I tend to believe God wants to only give us difficult things in life to fortify our character, and while that’s sometimes true, I am growing in learning that he’s a good Father and also likes giving us good gifts too!
Re:Hope West End
Trusting in God’s goodness today, bring your one main prayer request today and ask for what you really want — ‘luxury extras’ and all.